Learning Upgrade – Review


What we love…

Step-by-step instructions, summaries, examples in lessons are presented through fun videos and songs.

What we’d love to see…

An option to remove or adjust the timer for the final challenge in each course.

Summary

A complete Math and English learning app that keeps students engaged and motivated to learn and upgrade.

Our Rating

Is your child having problems mastering a particular Math or English lesson no matter what you do to help? My youngest has been struggling to remember the basic rules of writing a simple sentence despite having done many written exercises. Then I let him have a go at the app, Learning Upgrade. To my surprise, he picked up the skills easily within the day!

What worked for my son (who is a visual learner) is the combination of teaching through catchy songs, lively animations and entertaining videos plus game-like exercises that are fun to do. Learning Upgrade is a very engaging learning app. It has lessons that he likes to watch again and again, pop-style songs (highlighting the key words) that he tries to sing along with and exercises that he is willing to redo because all the questions are attractively presented and it is easy for him to input his answers. He especially likes the app’s positive and enthusiastic response whenever he submits a correct answer.

What I like, on the other hand, is the use of visual representations, summaries and examples to teach, the helpful guided exercises that reinforce the learning points, the different ways of questioning to ensure a student’s full understanding of the topic, the comprehensive coverage and the gradual and progressive manner in which skills are being taught.

Students are allowed to progress to the next lesson only when they have earned 100 points (from correct answers) and attained at least 75% correct. A rewards system is in place to encourage students to repeat the exercises in order to improve on their scores. At the completion of a course, students have to pass the final challenge before moving to the next course. But you can also choose to unlock all the lessons in your account settings so that your child can jump to any lesson.

I appreciate how the app supports students who need a little extra help in answering the questions in the learning games that follow each video lesson. Lines in passages are underlined as they are read out. There is a speaker button to tap if students need to hear the questions or instructions again. For answers that require reading, students can hear the individual words before attempting to answer. They also have the opportunity to check their answers before submitting.

The app doesn’t miss any teaching moments either. A short animation repeating the answer follows the correct answer to give further reinforcement. When an incorrect answer is submitted, the correct answer is always demonstrated and the app does not move to the next screen until the student has enough time to review the answer.

Learning Upgrade is free to download and comes with a video on the course descriptions and 6 demo lessons (with exercises) – 3 each for Math and English. If you register with an email, you will have free access to 8 lessons for each subject. To begin, choose between English or Math and then decide between 3 starting points. You can choose to start from the beginning of the curriculum, take a placement test to determine a course that is appropriate for your child’s learning needs or just select a course level that you want to review.

Currently, the app offers 60 lessons for each of the English Upgrade level 1-5 and Math Upgrade level K-8 courses, that’s more than 900 lessons in total. A course on Algebra was also added recently. To continue beyond the free lessons, you have 3 subscription plans to choose from – $7.99 for 1 month access to all lessons, $19.99 for 3 months and $59.99 for 12 months. You can access your lessons from the web as well as your smart phones and tablets. An internet connection is required for loading the lessons and saving the student’s progress.

Learning Upgrade is a comprehensive Math and English learning app that complements the school curriculum. Lessons are professionally done and enjoyable. Review exercises are varied and effective. Whether your child is trying to catch up or stay ahead of the class, Learning Upgrade is an excellent learning companion to have.

 

 

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Learning Upgrade

Learning Upgrade Learning Upgrade by Learning Upgrade

Price: $FREE

Learning Upgrade is the best app for people of all ages looking to improve their English, reading, writing, listening, and mathematics skills!

It’s time to start learning English and math the.

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.

Math Facts To 100 by FuzzyBees – Review and Giveaway


What we love…

Ability to design your own Math Fact drills that target your child’s current learning goals. Interactive student tools that help them to visualize the math equations.

What we’d love to see…

Math Facts including ‘0’. Color and redo buttons directly accessible in the Students’ section.

Summary

A Math Facts practice app that is fully adaptable to the needs of students of different abilities at different stages of Math Facts learning.

Our Rating

A mastery of Math Facts enable our kids to solve complex Math problems easily and quickly. More importantly, a fast recall of Math Facts give them the tools for handling daily life skills like telling time and counting money. If you are looking for an app for learning and memorizing Math Facts, you need to check out Math Facts To 100 by FuzzyBees.

This app teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division Math Facts. It is fully customizable to match what your child is working on and it is equipped with supportive learning tools that teaches your child how to solve math problems independently. These help facilitate understanding and reduce frustrations when completing math drills that are necessary in achieving Math Facts fluency.

Read on for the app’s various powerful features.

Fully Customizable Settings

The strength of this app is the flexible settings which allow you to design your own Math Facts drills. You can break down the steps to mastering Math Facts into manageable levels based on your child’s learning needs/goals and set up the app accordingly. Not only can you choose which Math Facts to learn and set how many equations to solve at each session, you can also tailor the types of equations to be solved and the kind of support to offer to your child.

Additional customizable details that further adapt the app to what your chid is familiar with are grouped under the Display section of the Settings page. These include skip counting by the multiplier or multiplicand, vertical or horizontal equation format, and the phone or calculator number pad layout. You also have the option to mute the sounds for various actions e.g. incorrect answers given.

There is no timer here but the time taken for completion of each session is recorded. A maximum of 4 different settings for different learning goals or different child can be prepared and saved at any one time.

Visual Learning Tools

The app is equipped with 3 types of interactive student tools that you can use to demonstrate to your child how to solve a math problem. Different child learns differently and presenting them with different approaches to solving the same problem allows you to discover the one that helps your child understand the concept best. This also encourages your child to seek out a different method of solving a problem when one strategy does not work.

The 3 learning tools provided in the app are the Hundred Board, Multiplication Board and a White Board. Students are free to choose the visual tool or combination of tools that they want to work with for each question. A color tool (consisting of 9 colors) is available for highlighting key numbers during the problem solving process.

The 100 Board is equipped with visual help (which you can opt out in the Settings) that highlight the steps to solving Math problems more effectively. For example, instead of counting up or down for addition and subtraction equations, students learn to get the same answer more quickly by adding or subtracting in tens (vertically) and in ones (horizontally).

If they tap and hold on any number on the board, they can also see what it means to add and subtract a quantity from this number.

For multiplication, the 100 Board will show students how to use skip counting to arrive at the answers. The visual help show the sequence of multiples (times tables) which students have to memorize.

The Multiplication Board (x2 to x10), on the other hand, helps students to multiply and divide easily within 100. Just tap the factors along the left most column and the top most row and the intersected number will give the answer.

The third tool, the White Board acts as a free space for students to do their math working. This is my youngest’s favorite as he is more comfortable with using counters which he draws on the board using the color tool. For him, the act of sharing a large number of counters equally helps him to better understand the concept of division.

Creating Math Drills

Before starting to use the app, you will need to find the Settings section that is hidden from the Students’ section. Pull down the equation box to reveal the Settings, color tool and redo buttons. The Teaching Tips and Reports sections are also accessible from the Settings section. You can learn about the various app features and how to use them in the Teaching Tips.

In the default setting, the app generates 50 random basic Math Fact equations of mixed operations in one session. Besides solving for answers to the equations, problems asking for the 1st or 2nd operand are also included (e.g. ? x 12 = 36). This is a great Math Facts workout for advanced students to improve their mental math. To modify the types of problems in this ‘Generate’ mode, you can adjust the parameters like the maximum values of the operands and results as well as the math operators tested.

To prepare drills focused on specific group(s) of Math Facts in the ‘List’ mode, you load the in-app basic facts and choose/add the one(s) to work on. Single or mixed operators, sequential or random equations, one or many problems, the choice is yours. If your child has math facts homework from school, you can even input these equations into the app. This way, your child can make use of the app’s visual tools to help him/her complete the homework.

Reports

At a glance, the reports show you the date and time, percentage of correct answers, number of equations attempted, time taken and whether visual help was used for each completed session. Tap on each session and you will see the list of equations that were answered incorrectly on the first try, so that you can have your child work on them again.

Summary

Math Facts to 100 is a dynamic app for learning the basic Math Facts visually and progressively. It is designed to meet the needs of children of different abilities and students at different stages of Math Facts fluency through instructional scaffolding. Highly recommended.

 

 

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Math Facts To 100
Check out their other apps – Build To 100 (read our review) and Count To 100!.

Math Facts To 100 Math Facts To 100 by FuzzyBees

Price: $2.99 USD

*** From the developer of the award winning Count To 100 ***

Math Facts To 100 is an app that generates math facts equations and provides visualization for the equations using the hundred board.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app or an $20 iTunes/Amazon Card, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.

eWallet – Password Manager by Ilium Software – Review



 

What we love…

easy to use multi-device password manager that allows synching with a touch.  No more forgotten passwords

What we’d love to see…

easier way to set up the app or program for the first time

Summary

Easy to use multi-device password manager means less password resets, easier ability to keep track of accounts and logins

Our Rating

eWallet - Password Manager eWallet – Password Manager by Iium Software is a multi-platform password manager which includes: iOS, Android, Mac, PC and Blackberry and allows you to remember passwords for websites, computer logins, work passwords and more.  This easy to use app or software allows you to keep your passwords safe either via Touch ID on your device or a password and sync them across platforms.  The app and software use 256-bit AES encryption to protect your information and ensure your passwords are safe.  This is a much better solution than writing passwords down on a scrap of paper, storing them in a document on your computer, storing them in the notes section of your device or having to constantly reset them.  You can easily back up across multiple devices including iCloud and Dropbox. If you do have multiple devices, you need to purchase the app or software for each such as iOS, PC/Mac.

Below are a few tips from Ilium Software on creating passwords.  You can read the full blog here.  Most Americans use pen and paper or memory as their primary method of keeping track of their online passwords according to a study by Pew Research.  In addition, many personal data breaches can be traced back to a simple password, use of an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network (free Wi-Fi) or using the same password on multiple sites.

Below are a few tips from Ilium software on passwords

  1. Create strong passwords or passphrases (at least 12 characters with a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and punctuation — it should not be something easy to guess or unaltered from a dictionary.
  2. Use a different password for each account (easy with eWallet’s built-in password generator)
  3. Use a password manager — eWallet of course!
  4. Use multi-factor authentication with accounts that support it (and eWallet can store extra factor info too)

Between online logins, and other sources I have so many passwords I am trying to keep track of.  Before I started using eWallet, I would have complex passwords, but they may not have been complex enough — or I would have to reset them every time I wanted to access an online statement, use a site I may have used infrequently or worse have to call for a password reset.  In the six months I have been using eWallet, I’m happy to say my calls to the help desk for various services have declined, my passwords are more secure (you can even generate strong passwords in the app or program) and I’m saving time by not having to reset things so frequently.

iPad Screenshot 4

I loved that I no longer had to reset my passwords so frequently, I can simply pull out my iPhone/iPad or use my computer to access my logins without having to try to remember what my last password was.  Unlike many, I do not rely on written lists of passwords for financial data to ensure the safety of them.   Now, instead of fumbling for things like my insurance card when I go to the doctor, finding a password to make a purchase or logging into a favorite website I have the password at hand and can be ready to go in moments.  I even started using eWallet to keep track of wireless passwords, online account logins for medical records, and loved how easy it was to access everything.  I also liked that it was a one time fee versus subscription based.

In terms of improvement, I wish there were an easier way to input passwords.  There is an import function on the desktop version, but that’s only for the first time you use it – after that, if you haven’t entered it then you need to copy/paste.  I found using a computer was easier because I could copy/paste from various websites to ensure the URL was correct or that I was entering the data correctly.  One thing I did was create a .csv file of my frequently used websites and imported it to eWallet on my PC and then used a synch to get it on my iPhone.  It does take quite a bit of time to get the app set up when you first start using it – but once the initial setup is done it’s simple, easy to use and quick.  It works well both on the small screen of my iPhone as well as on my larger tablet.

Overall eWallet has made my password life a lot easier.  I’m no longer searching around for my passwords, I have them with a swipe of my finger on my device or a quick password on my desktop.  This has made my life easier and keeping up with my accounts faster!

eWallet - Password Manager
eWallet - Password Manager
by Ilium Software, Inc.

Category: Productivity, Business
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 23.97 MB

$9.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

eWallet for Mac

NOTE: A copy of eWallet for iOS and eWallet for my computer were provided.  No other compensation was received.
If you use our links to purchase the app or program for Mac, we may receive a small payment which helps to defray the costs of running our site.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro) by 77Sparx Studio, Inc. – Review


What we love…

Great variety of high interest puzzle themes introducing lots of basic and advanced vocabulary.

What we’d love to see…

A choice of lower or upper case for display of vocabulary words.

Summary

A unique puzzle and mini-game app that is engaging and meaningful with enormous amount of content for building a rich vocabulary.

Our Rating

PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro) is more than just a puzzle app. It is an extensive vocabulary app where the subjects are presented through different types of toddler and preschool puzzles. And these are not the average puzzles that you find in other puzzle apps. The puzzles in Puzzingo are both engaging and meaningful while the gameplay is ingenious. I’m totally impressed.

The vocabulary words are grouped according to themes or categories which helps children develop skills in sorting and classifying objects. Besides learning the name and sound of each object, they also learn what goes together. You can help your child to gain more knowledge and develop analytical skills by highlighting the similarities or relationship between the different objects.

Each themed pack of puzzles consists of 7 groups of puzzles focusing on 7 different topics within the theme e.g. the core concepts pack includes puzzles on shapes, colors, numbers, counting, emotions, alphabet and weather. Currently there is a total of 22 puzzle packs included in the app covering core concepts, food, professions, holidays, animals, space, life of toys, bugs, pets, dinosaurs, pirates, princesses & fairies, sports, music, fairy tales, super heroes, cars, trains, airplanes, trucks and candy kingdom. What is important to note is that there is a wide variety of high interest themes for younger children to choose from.

From an educator’s perspective, I like that the words introduced in each group help to build a rich vocabulary. Learners can see the print (in upper case) and hear the associated word read aloud when they touch each object puzzle, which in turn helps with labelling and word recognition. It is a great app for use in speech therapy. Besides learning the US English language, learners can also learn the vocabulary in Spanish, UK English, Chinese and Japanese. 

While I’m impressed with the enormous amount of content that kids can potentially learn from the app, what I find refreshing is the format of the app’s gameplay – how it extends the play from one puzzle game to another meaningfully.

Each pack of puzzles consist of 2 types of puzzles, 1-piece puzzles and layered puzzles. Each 1-piece puzzles are easy to complete but each of these puzzle piece brings players to a more challenging layered puzzle. The layered puzzles show the many parts and layers that make up the object shown on the 1-piece puzzle piece. Players learn the names of these parts as they build the object puzzle piece-by-piece. In some cases, the parts could be items that are associated with the theme. For example, the soccer puzzle game introduces terms like goalie, goal, photographer, camera, signs, cone, players, injured player, medics, forward, midfielder, defender, soccer ball, jersey, cleats and shin guards.

Regardless the total number of puzzle pieces that kids have to put in place in order to complete a puzzle game, the app presents only 2 pieces at any one time so that kids won’t get overwhelmed. Another toddler-friendly support comes in the form of prompts that show kids where to place the puzzle piece when they placed the piece incorrectly repeatedly.

Once a puzzle game is completed, players are rewarded with an interactive mini-game that helps them to explore further on the theme. Kids can fly an airplane, conduct a band, dress up a character, score a goal, feed a dinosaur, drive a vehicle, play with the toys and many more activities. The games are varied and deliver so much fun with their cute animations and sound effects that they may just overshadow the puzzles in terms of popularity with kids. Repeat play is guaranteed.

If you have a preschooler at home, you definitely need to get Puzzingo. The free version Puzzingo Puzzles offers 7 sets of puzzles and mini-games and a free daily puzzle from one of the themed puzzle packs that is available for purchase. You can purchase individual puzzle packs or an All-Access Pass. This Pass allows your child to play with more than 150 puzzles and enjoy new content and games through regular updates. The latest update for the 2017 Holidays offers the Trucks Puzzles pack and Toys Puzzles pack which are perfect gifts for the holiday season!

With Puzzingo, completing a puzzle becomes meaningful and purposeful. Preschoolers are exposed to lots of vocabulary words from a wide range of topics while reaping the benefits of completing puzzles like spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, matching and fine-motor skills. With so much content in a single app, I’m positive that your preschoolers will have many favorite puzzles to keep them busy learning and playing.

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PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro)
Puzzingo Toddler Kids Puzzles
Google Play
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Puzzingo Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo Toddler Kids Puzzles by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Price: $FREE

• Featured by Apple
Do your kid and toddler like puzzles? How about an educational puzzle game that is fun, packed with learning, and played by 8 million families around the world? Checkout Puzzingo.

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.

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